The plays of Eugene O'Neill dramatize acts of loyalty and honesty among members of Irish American families, from the early works (The Straw and Beyond the Horizon) to the last plays (Long Day's Journey Into Night, A Touch of the Poet, and A Moon for the Misbegotten). These virtues were not only featured in O'Neill's canon but also lived in his personal relations with kith and kin. O'Neill's embrace of his Irish heritage developed and matured over the course of several decades, from his teen years until his mid-fifties. He befriended fellow Irish writers O'Casey and Yeats and became a staunch supporter of the Irish Free State and eventually the Republic of Ireland. Over this long life's journey, O'Neill came to understand and believe that those key character traits were passed on to him via his Irish heritage, thus, encouraging him to embrace his “Irishness” with a certain “clannish pride.”

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